Oregon gov: Schools must offer in-person classes by March 29

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday she is issuing an executive order mandating that all K-12 public schools provide universal access to in-person learning by the month’s end for students up to fifth grade and by mid-April for older students.

The state’s coronavirus case numbers have fallen significantly and Oregon put teachers ahead of older residents in the line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Brown has been under tremendous pressure from parents in many counties to reopen schools.

Under the order, students in K-5 must have an in-person learning option by March 29. Students in grades six through 12 must have one by April 19.

Students who prefer to remain in online class will also have the option.

“The science is very, very clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. Oregon parents can be confident about sending their children back to a classroom learning environment," Brown said in a statement, after visiting a Portland school.

Most students in Oregon have been learning online for the better part of a year. Some school districts have returned to part-time in-person learning, mostly at the elementary level.